Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014: Bear baiting, Mike Michaud support, child care ratings system

Posted Aug. 22, 2014, at 9:12 a.m.

Not for Mainers

The Aug. 15 BDN article “Battle over bears: Maine hunting practices again in voters’ hands” was very well written and covered most of the points of the bear referendum quite well.

But the BDN missed one important point. Currently Maine bear hunting is not for Mainers.

As the statistics show, the majority of bears shot (over bait and with hounds) every year are shot by out-of-state hunters. Bear hunting in Maine is a money-making business, both for the bear hunting guides and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (as bear license fees are a dependable source of its finances). Of course, IF&W is going to be against the referendum.

The statistics also show that few bears are currently shot by still hunters. Why? As a still hunter who has spent significant time in the Maine woods looking for bears, I have found most if not all of the bears are locked up on bait sites and not wandering around the woods looking for their natural food sources. And they stay that way until they go into hibernation, usually by/before the November gun season, when they could be shot by Maine still hunters in the open woods.

The facts from the other states that have banned bear baiting hunting (Oregon and Colorado) show that the success by still hunters from those states improved after the baiting was stopped.

Voting for the bear referendum would restore Maine bear hunting to Mainers, as it should be. Then those of us who cannot afford or do not want to pay the $2,000 fee to the guides could go hunt bears in our own state under natural hunting conditions.

Larry Ferrell

Newport

Action and talk

Of course independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler wants lots of debates; talk is what he does best. For the last four years since he lost the 2010 election, that’s about all he’s done. He hopes we won’t notice that he hasn’t actually accomplished anything for Mainers.

He keeps telling us how bright he is and what a great leader he will be, but he didn’t even take stands on many of the tough issues that were fought in our Legislature. While the legislators were working and Gov. Paul LePage was vetoing, he was often silent. Indeed, in the three-and-a-half years since LePage was elected, Cutler has very rarely testified before the Legislature, and incredibly, one of those times was in support of LePage’s pick for education commissioner.

Yes, he is bright, and he is glib, but in many ways he is just like our current governor who is unwilling to work cooperatively with legislators of either party and just wants us to hear his voice telling us what we should do because he knows best.

Mike Michaud, our Democratic candidate, has through more than 30 years of service shown us that he knows how to govern, work hard, get along with others and achieve results. Many of the laws that he helped bring forward decades ago have stood the test of time because they were forged working in partnership with Republicans and Democrats.

We trust Michaud; we respect the body of his work and his many accomplishments. We respect action, not just talk.

Sandra and Ole Jaeger

Georgetown

Making best choice

All parents entrusting their young children to others hold the expectation that their children will receive the highest quality care. Unfortunately, as described on the front page of the BDN on Monday, August 18, “Oversight of Maine day cares falls short,” this is not always the case.

Many parents do not know that Maine has a rating system that assigns a quality rating to all licensed child care providers who are registered on this voluntary system. The quality ratings are from Step 1, the lowest rating, to Step 4, the highest quality rating. Parents can search for licensed child care providers using quality ratings as one factor at a website maintained by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, www.childcarechoices.me.

Child and Family Opportunities offers child care in centers in Ellsworth, Machias and Calais, and I am very proud to say that all of our centers have earned the highest Step 4 quality rating. In fact, our centers are the only Step 4 centers in Washington County. Our Ellsworth center and the Bucksport Area Child Care Center are the only Step 4 centers in Hancock County.

I encourage parents to ask their child care provider if they are licensed and registered on the Maine Quality Rating System. Better yet, look it up yourself. If they’re not, ask why. Equip yourself with information to make the best choice for your child.

Doug Orville

Executive Director

Child and Family Opportunities, Inc.

Ellsworth

Bare facts

In an Aug. 19 letter, Ray Andresen of Camden gave faulty reasons to vote against the bear referendum. He alleges that former Gov. Percival Baxter was against bear baiting when he called for an end to it — and cock fighting and dog fighting, etc.

The only problem with his logic is that in Baxter’s time bear baiting consisted of putting a bear in a pit or large cage and placing dogs of specific breeds (usually bull mastiffs or pit bulls) to bait or battle the bear. Men would bet on the the outcome of baiting.

This is not the baiting we are involved with now. Either Andresen doesn’t know much history or was intentionally trying to mislead others, who don’t know history.

All candidates for governor support the hunting of bears and recommend a “no” vote on Question 1. Several towns have passed resolutions recommending voting no.

The sportsmen have facts from the leading bear biologist in the country supporting them. The Humane Society of the United States, a Washington, D.C., organization, has a lawyer from Massachusetts as its bear expert. The facts do not support Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting; only emotion does.

If you don’t like the methods of hunting bear in Maine, don’t hunt them, but leave those of us who do alone. Do we need a bunch of out-of-staters and their money trying to stop hunting and fishing in Maine?

Don Loncto

Fletchers Landing

 

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